Thanks for sharing

January 19, 2010 at 6:03 am 3 comments

     We’ve never really struggled with whether or when to tell C he has autism. At some point, we will, but it’s abundantly clear he is not yet ready to hear it. My feeling on this solidified while on our recent trip to Disneyland as we waited in the special needs line with a family similar to ours. Their 11-year-old son was so self-aware he actually told me his Asperger’s makes it hard for him to stand around a bunch of people and that the lights in some of the rides really challenge his senses.

     This is not at all like my C. Self-centered? Absolutely. Self-aware? Not in the least. The universe, in C’s opinion, solidly revolves around him. He is sweet, kind, thoughtful, and yet utterly clueless about how his actions affect the rest of the world. Somehow consequences, even natural ones, rarely seem to have any influence.

     So telling C that there are things with which he will struggle, and that some of those things are ones we can work on, does not seem particularly productive. For a kid who does not yet seem to grasp that he has some very special gifts as well as challenges, telling him he’s different from the rest of the herd is probably not the best idea. For the moment, all he wants is to be like everyone else, and maybe, just maybe, in that desire lies the truth that he is aware he is not in fact like everyone else. The trick will be to make him understand just how wonderful that really is.

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Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Sleepy head Eating my words

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lynnes  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I think as the parent, you know your son best and what is and is not in his best interests. G is somewhere in between your son and the boy at Disney. We just started telling G this year, after he skipped a grade and it became very clear to him that he was different from other kids. We read two books, which I’d be happy to recommend when/if you ever need that info. The first book was very light and the second was a bit more detailed. When he asked for more info on Asperger’s we said that it was a description of how some people’s brains worked and specifically how G’s brain worked.

    He’s re-read those books on his own but has never asked about it again. We’re leaving it alone until he signals that he needs more information. It is hard to know what the right thing is (for me) so I just have to go with my gut and what I know about G, ya know?

    Reply
  • 2. robinaltman  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I just told my kids they are idiots. They seemed to understand.

    Reply
  • 3. therocchronicles  |  January 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I wonder about this sometimes. If the Roc will notice he is different, or when? If there will be a good time to tell him?

    You know him best, you’ll know the time is right. I guess I should think that way regarding my own right?!

    I’m counting down the days until I reach your sunny state!

    Reply

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